After my divorce, I remember thinking those single guys can sure spot a fresh-out-of-a-marriage gal. But how?

My clothes gave me away. I still dressed like a married woman. Nice sensible clothes, stylish, but with a “married” label. There was no angel on my shoulder giving me instructions on how to dress. I remember asking my hairdresser, who was the only single woman I knew at the time, what to do…tips on how to be single. I needed “single lessons.” All she said was, “You have to be out there.” I asked, “Where is ‘out there?’” She answered, “Out there!!!” Well, that was no help.

That was all the information I got on How to Be a Single Woman, and no tips on How to Look Like a Single Woman.

So I decided on a plan:

  • First I knew I had to develop my self-worth and independence. After a year, I felt I had accomplished both.
  • In the meantime, I took a good look in the mirror and decided it was time for a new hairdo. End of short hair. Now it’s long.
  • Then I took a good look at the clothes in my closet. There were nice sensible shoes, boring clothes hanging above. I decided it was time to go through the clothes and see what I didn’t want any more, what I was tired of, and what I thought was too married-womanly. I found a friend who brought along a single friend of hers and one Saturday, they helped me clean out my closet. These to consignment, those to Goodwill, these stay. They were ruthless!
  • Next was a shopping trip. What can be more thrilling for a married woman than a shopping trip? And what can be more depressing to a newly single woman than knowing she has to go shopping and her budget is zero!

I started researching consignment shops, beginning with the one I used to bring my clothes to, then found three more that sounded interesting, deciding to check out Goodwill, too. I made a date with my friend and off we went.

I returned home with a great looking red dress that really showed off my figure, and a few other colorful additions to my wardrobe. Then on to the shoe store to splurge on a new pair of heels, so high I could hardly walk in them, but they were stunning. I now had the beginning of a single-woman wardrobe.

New hairdo. New clothes. Great shoes. Now it was time to find out if I was still attractive. That’s where my cousin came in. Sally had been single for a long time and about two months after the shopping spree, she called and said she wanted to introduce me to a guy who was too young for her, but just right for me. I said, “I’m not ready.” She said, “You’re going. I’ll pick you up tomorrow night at seven sharp. Be ready. I hate to wait,” and she hung up. I chose the red dress, put on the too-high heels, and was nervous, but ready by seven. He was six foot four, good-looking and held the door of the car open for me. Good sign, right? We went to a bar that had a small dance floor, and this six-footer whirled this five-footer around the floor. I hadn’t been dancing in so long, it was wonderful… and somehow I managed not to step on his toes. Sally drove us back and waited in the car while he escorted me to the door of my apartment. I held my breath. Yes! He kissed me! And again! The red dress was a success! I saw him once more, then decided he wasn’t for me. But, I was now officially…a single woman…with a single-woman wardrobe!

Marilyn Frazer

Award-winning Author of The Relationship Trap